TVWriter™ June 2013 e-Newsletter

Yesterday’s e-Newsletter for those who – alas! – missed it:


TVWriter™ Newsletter – June 2013



Hope your summer’s going well. Here in the beautiful albeit mostly not sunny Pacific Northwest rain forest (yes, it really is a rain forest), things are about to become pretty hectic.

On the family front, Gwen the Beautiful is getting ready for the Annual Gathering of the Crones, which is a much bigger and more positive deal than it sounds. Every year, she and a small group of longtime friends get together for a few days to celebrate the fact that they can indeed still get together. The Crones have assembled all over the U.S. and have featured a lot of moonlight bonfires on hidden beaches or mountaintops with accompanying dancing and music and mystic rituals that would make the Illuminati jealous.

This year, the crew is getting together in L.A. Some say that the ladies are going there to take on the aforementioned Illuminati on their own turf. Others say that it’s because the friends have secretly arranged to hang with their grandchildren. Still others say that the purpose of this conjugation at the cultural hub of the planet – if not the universe – is all about selling a screenplay about a friendship much hotter than the one portrayed in BEACHES. But, as they say on TOP GEAR, one thing’s for sure: When this little sojourn begins I’m gonna be s-o-o lonely…

Until then, though, I’m well-covered by company. (Does that sentence make any sense? Yeah, didn’t think so.) One of the great New Jersey singer-guitar players, Christian Bonanno, has returned to our cloudy clime from North Carolina, and we’ve been having a ball playing music together. Mostly ’80s covers, but when Christian plays ’em you can swear they’re new. I’ve also met and enjoyed the company of more people in this small town than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. And we actually do things together.

Most of those things aren’t what I expected to be up to at this point in my life. I mean, rushing out to the Jamestown Indian Reservation to get the best deal on tequila (because it’s tax-free on the rez) is something I always knew I’d be doing. But sitting up all night and talking about the meaning of life even though I’m not a college freshman anymore? Fantastic.

Which, in this particular free-for-all column/letter, brings me to some summertime thank yous. As in:

  • Thanks to my neighbors for putting up with my – well, let’s call it eccentricity (no, I’m not going into detail here, dammit) – and for not making me recite all my old writing and producing credits each time they introduce me to somebody new.
  • Thanks to Gwen for putting the first volume of my poetry on Kindle and to you, our very cool TVWriter™ visitors, for downloading so many copies.
  • Thanks to all of you who’ve been taking the TV Writer University Online Workshops. The classes have kept me in close webcam contact with some of the best writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. (And you’re pretty fun people too…just the right types to get your hearts broken – I mean make it big – in the biz.)
  • Thanks to Youngest Daughter Amber for bringing Yevtushenko (the band) over to the house to rehearse while I just hung out and “kvelled.” (That’s a Yiddish word for a very good feeling, oh yeah.)
  • Thanks to all the People’s Pilot and Spec Scriptacular entrants for giving so much great reading to do.

That’s it for now. This has been the most personal, unprofessional Message from LB since TVWriter™ began. So I definitely have to stop before I say something I’ll regret in the morning. Although, most likely, I already have.





In case you missed it, info on what’s been happening in the contests is HERE.

In case you’re actually reading this, have a little more info: JUDGING HAS BEGUN! And the entrants are making it even more difficult for the judges than we thought it would be cuz there’s some very good stuff here. Very good indeed. How to pick winners…how to pick winners…it boggles our minds.

For more general type info:

The People’s Pilot is HERE.

The Spec Scriptacular is HERE.

Or just go to TVWriter™ and click on the contest of your choice in the righthand index.



Description, Description, Description – Sort Of
by LB

Over time, I’ve noticed a running battle on all Message Boards, Bulletin Boards, and Newsgroups about screen and/or television writing. That battle is about how much to describe the action and settings in your script.

I can’t speak for feature films (although my theory there, which I’ve stated in other writings, is that everyone might as well emulate Shane Black, writer-director of IRON MAN 3, who may well be the most successful spec script writer/seller in history. Read something he’s written and then do the same), but I know television. There are very few “professional readers” in TV. For the most part, the people who read your work are the people who produce the shows. This means you have to write the way way series staff writers write. And that means you have to describe everything fully unless it’s a standing set.

Don’t tell us how the main characters’ office looks, because we already know that. Do tell us what the places they go to in the course of the story are like, in just a sentence or two. Don’t tell us that the protagonists frown or walk from hre to their while talking, but—and this is crucial—do tell us how they manifest their peak emotions. And if you’ve got an action scene we’re going to need a punch by punch or tire squeal by tire squeal account. The writer is the choreographer. Hey, that’s the fun!



The next TVWriter™ Basic Online TV and Film Writing Workshop starts Tuesday, July 16, 2013, and runs for 6 weeks. The Basic Workshop goes through all the steps of teleplay and screenplay development from concept/logline to outline, 1st Draft, and revisions with a special concentration on story structure, teleplay/screenplay format…and learning how to read the mind of your producer. Taught by TVWriter™ High Honcho Larry Brody, the Basic Workshop is limited to 5 students to make certain everyone gets the individual time s/he needs.

Basic Workshop info and sign-up form


The next TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop, which starts July 3, 2013 is already full. But there will be more because the Advanced Workshop just keeps on recycling, 4 weeks on, then 1 week off, then 4 weeks on again. It too is limited to 5 students, so if you’re interested in getting in on the fun in August, you really should have a look-see at:

Advanced Workshop info and sign-up form

The next version of Larry Brody’s Master Class will begin some time in July when LB is in the mood. He does it this way because, well, because he can. The Master Class is the online workshop for professional level writers who want to spend an intense month perfecting your current work. 60 pages a week! Story, plot, and characterization analyzed by our Fearsome Leader. LB accepts a maximum of only 3 students at a time in this one so if you’re interested you definitely need to reserve your place ASAP.

Larry Brody’s Master Class info

Or find out more about everything TVWriter University is currently offering HERE.


That’s it for now. In the words of that great philosopher Speedy Gonzales, “Andele! Arriba!”

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Larry Brody – Head Dood
Tim Muncher – Keeper of the Faith
Various Volunteers – Mucho Appreciated Scapegoats
Gwen Brody – Beautiful Dreamer